Lawyer Client Privelege

The lawyer-client privilege is most valuable and the protection strongest when clients refrain from discussing their case with anyone but their lawyer. Discussion of the facts with a third party may constitute a waiver of the lawyer-client privilege.

The following is from Oregon State Law.

ORS 40.225 Rule 503. Lawyer-client privilege.

  • (1) As used in this section, unless the context requires otherwise:
    • (a) “Client” means a person, public officer, corporation, association or other organization or entity, either public or private, who is rendered professional legal services by a lawyer, or who consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional legal services from the lawyer.
    • (b) “Confidential communication” means a communication not intended to be disclosed to third persons other than those to whom disclosure is in furtherance of the rendition of professional legal services to the client or those reasonably necessary for the transmission of the communication.
    • (c) “Lawyer” means a person authorized, or reasonably believed by the client to be authorized, to practice law in any state or nation.
    • (d) “Representative of the client” means a principal, an employee, an officer or a director of the client:
      • (A) Who provides the client’s lawyer with information that was acquired during the course of, or as a result of, such person’s relationship with the client as principal, employee, officer or director, and is provided to the lawyer for the purpose of obtaining for the client the legal advice or other legal services of the lawyer; or
      • (B) Who, as part of such person’s relationship with the client as principal, employee, officer or director, seeks, receives or applies legal advice from the client’s lawyer.
    • (e) “Representative of the lawyer” means one employed to assist the lawyer in the rendition of professional legal services, but does not include a physician making a physical or mental examination under ORCP 44.
  • (2) A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client:
    • (a) Between the client or the client’s representative and the client’s lawyer or a representative of the lawyer;
    • (b) Between the client’s lawyer and the lawyer’s representative;
    • (c) By the client or the client’s lawyer to a lawyer representing another in a matter of common interest;
    • (d) Between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client; or
    • (e) Between lawyers representing the client.
  • (3) The privilege created by this section may be claimed by the client, a guardian or conservator of the client, the personal representative of a deceased client, or the successor, trustee, or similar representative of a corporation, association, or other organization, whether or not in existence. The person who was the lawyer or the lawyer’s representative at the time of the communication is presumed to have authority to claim the privilege but only on behalf of the client.
  • (4) There is no privilege under this section:
    • (a) If the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud;
    • (b) As to a communication relevant to an issue between parties who claim through the same deceased client, regardless of whether the claims are by testate or intestate succession or by inter vivos transaction;
    • (c) As to a communication relevant to an issue of breach of duty by the lawyer to the client or by the client to the lawyer;
    • (d) As to a communication relevant to an issue concerning an attested document to which the lawyer is an attesting witness; or
    • (e) As to a communication relevant to a matter of common interest between two or more clients if the communication was made by any of them to a lawyer retained or consulted in common, when offered in an action between any of the clients.

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